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Two Latin American films shortlisted for the 2022 Oscars.
Two Latin American films were recently shortlisted for the 2022 Oscars. Graphic: The Oscars.

Mexico and Panama in the Oscar race

Mexico and Panama remain in the Oscar race for a spot in the international film category with Prayers for the Stolen (Noche de Fuego) and Plaza Catedral.

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On Tuesday, Dec. 21, the Academy announced the semi-finalists for the Oscars in 10 categories. The shortlist includes Mexico's Prayers for the Stolen (Noche de Fuego) and Panama's Plaza Catedral.

The two Latin American films are close to an Oscar nomination for 'Best International Film.' Tatiana Huezo's Prayers for the Stolen and Abner Benaim's Plaza Catedral have already won awards, but the Panamanian film has become the first entry from the Central American country to be shortlisted.

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Mexico and Panama are the only two Latin American representatives among the 10 pre-selected films. Prayers for the Stolen, Huezo's debut feature, won a Special Mention in the Un Certain Regard competition at the Cannes Film Festival, and the 'Best Latin American Film' award at the San Sebastian Festival. Set in a lonely town nestled in the Mexican mountains, its story explores the gender violence present in the country. 

Meanwhile, Plaza Catedral tells the story of Alicia, a woman with "a perfect life," but is affected when she loses her six-year-old son in an accident. Her grief, mixed with guilt, dissociates her from society, her marriage, and herself.

The final list of nominees for the 94th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022 and the winners will be crowned at the ceremony on Sunday, March 27, 2022 held in Hollywood's Dolby Theatre.

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